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review 2016-12-29 01:23
The Nature of the Beast by Louise Penny - My Thoughts
The Nature of the Beast - Louise Penny


Chief Inspector Gamache - Book 11

I think this is one of the best Gamache books.  Many favourite characters are back, but there is a renewed focus on Armand Gamache, Jean-Guy and Isabelle Lacoste.  Especially on Armand.  We are getting to see how he is, or isn't, dealing with retirement from the SQ.  I mean, honestly, does anyone really think that Armand will just be able to sit on the porch of his home in Three Pines reading, walking Henri, eating Reine-Marie's wonderful cooking, chatting with the denizens of our favourite Townships village?  I'm sure he'd like to think he'd be quite happy doing just that, but I think even he realises that he might be fooling himself.

The mystery is interesting.  A BFG - and that's not Big Friendly Giant, my friends - is at the center of case that begins with the death/murder of a young boy known for his huge imagination.   I'm glad it wasn't a graphic murder, I have to say.  I don't deal well with those at the best of times, but when it's a child...  well.  I'm glad Penny did things the ways she did.  Also interesting was that there is a historical basis for the BFG.  Very cool.

But as always, the main reason I adore these books is the characters and they have all grown, changed or shown a little more of themselves in this volume and I have loved it.  I really loved the final shot (in the book, that is) of Clara - it was perfect and insightful and made me smile.

So all I have left is the latest book in the series, A Great Reckoning.  And I'm saving that for a bit.  For a special time.

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review 2016-11-11 00:53
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny - My Thoughts
The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel - Louise Penny

Another winner!  Big surprise, eh?  :)  

 

In this, the 10th Gamache book, things are a little more quiet, a little more personal, a little less grand - as they needed to be after the culmination of major series arcs in the previous novel.  This felt like a chance to catch our breath as well as see where all our old friends have ended up.

 

Again, not only do we have the mystery of the missing artist, but we have the mystery of what's going on inside our characters.  I love how Louise manages to parallel both threads of plot.

 

This series really makes me wish I could write in depth essays on books the way some people do, but I can just tell you that I loved the book, loved where the author has taken some of her cast of characters this time, loved the settings and just loved her story-telling voice, period.

 

I have one more Gamache book in my Kobo and then hopefully the 12th book will have come down a bit in price and then I'm going to be stuck waiting like everyone else for the 13th Gamache tale!  

 

 

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review 2016-10-01 05:36
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny - My Thoughts
How the Light Gets In - Louise Penny

How the Light Gets In is, in my humble opinion, the best Inspector Gamache novel yet, hands down.  

 

This is the 9th Gamache book and it seems as if we've been building towards this tale and this climax from the very beginning of the series.  Well, I guess it doesn't just seem that way, we actually have.

 

We have the mystery du jour, which has to do with a set of quintuplets inspired by the famed Dionne Quints.  It's interesting and does keep one guessing until late in the book.  But I think, far more important, is the way the mystery mirrors what the characters we have come to love (and hate) are going through in the over-arcing - through 9 books - mystery of the Sureté.  

 

My emotions have never been twisted and played so much by a freaking mystery!  These characters - man, oh man, I've come to love them so much - they have already gone through so much and in this book, they go through so much more!  Whether it be Gamache himself, or his closest team members, Beauvoir and Lacoste, or the denizens of Three Pines ( and yes, thank God, we go back to Three Pines), especially Olivier and Ruth - this volume of the series brings watershed moments for all of them, I think.  

 

There is one scene in the last few chapters, where I actually broke down and sobbed for what was on the page!  The love, the hope, the loyalty, the trust... OMG, it was amazing.  And of course, on the other hand, we have the hate, the jealousy, the evil, the betrayal and every emotion, the positive and the negative, they're just so damned real!  

 

I don't know where we go from here.  I have two more books in my TBR pile and then the latest book, #12 to get and then I'll be all up to date.  The author has mentioned though, that she has started the next book, so that's very good news!

 

I want to mention, as well, while I was reading this book and the previous one, the author has been going through the loss of her beloved husband.  My condolences, Louise.  

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review 2016-09-28 17:08
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny - My Thoughts
The Beautiful Mystery - Louise Penny

This 8th book of Chief Inspector Armand Gamache quite honestly broke my heart a little.

 

Louise Penny doesn't just write mysteries, she writes about human beings.  People in all sorts of troubles, with all sorts of flaws, and with both moments of deepest despair and the supreme joy.  I guess one could say she writes about the human condition - unless that's too much of a cliché.  :)

 

So for the first time, we do not visit Three Pines.  We don't even really get a mention of Three Pines and I think that's by deliberate design.  Three Pines is a place of healing and peace, (despite being the per capita murder capitol of Quebec) and there is really not a lot of peace and healing to be found by the end of The Beautiful Mystery.  

 

The murder occurs in a monastery hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec and the only members of the Sureté sent to investigate are Gamache and his second in command, Jean-Guy Beauvoir.  

 

Now, I had thought that since the end of the previous book, A Trick of the Light, things were on the upswing with Gamache and Beauvoir, and the first half of The Beautiful Mystery seemed to bear that out.  Then it all goes to hell.  The problems of the monastery are reflected in the problems of the Sureté and the problems of Jean-Guy and Armand and I have to say that I finished the last quarter of the book with a palpable feeling of dread.  One that did NOT disappear with the closing lines - so I started the next book right away and those that know me, know I don't DO that.  *LOL*

 

I have to say that I didn't completely get all the details of the explanation of the mystery.  I didn't matter though, not really, I understood the emotions behind the actions.  :)

 

So, yes, I am on Book 9 (and weeping because I only have 2 more after this and then the new one that just came out) and I can honestly say that I love this series more and more with every book.  

 

 

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review 2016-09-06 17:41
A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny - My Thoughts
A Trick of the Light (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #7) - Louise Penny

It's no secret by this time that Louise Penny is one of my most favourite mystery writers, indeed one of my fave writers PERIOD.  A Trick of the Light just reaffirms those facts.  :)

 

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is back with his team, Beauvoir and Lacoste, but after the events of the previous two books, he's changed and in some ways it's for the better, but in a couple of subtle ways, maybe not.  

 

The mystery hits close to home in Three Pines and our good friends Clara and Peter are very much involved.  Lots of change there too.  There are definitely troubles to get past for most of the cast.  Gamache, Beauvoir, Olivier, Clara and Peter... they all have decisions to make and paths to chose.  

 

The mystery, while it's very good and very much in the front of the tale, also reflects what's going on in the regular characters' lives.  There are layers in Penny's books, thoughtful and insightful layers.  That's why I can't classify them as cosy mysteries - they are so very much more than that.  They just juicy and deep and enjoyable and thoughtful and ... well... I love the characters.  Even when they're being their terrifically flawed selves - maybe especially then.  :)  

 

Damn, I love these books!

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